Infants’ and adults’ use of duration and intensity cues in the segmentation of tone patterns
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Adults and 8-month-olds were presented with sequences in which every third complex tone was either longer or more intense. Segmentation was measured by comparing the detection of silent gaps inserted into three possible locations in each pattern: Silent gaps inserted at perceived segmentation boundaries are harder to detect than gaps within perceived phrases or groups. A go/no-go conditioned head-turn (hand-raising for adults) procedure was used. In Experiment 1, detection was worse for the gaps following the longer complex tones than for the gaps at the other locations, suggesting that the longer tones marked the ends of perceived groups for both infants and adults. Experiment 2 showed that an increase in intensity did not result in any systematic grouping at either age.
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